Short Story Cycles

A Review of Concise Literature: The Short Story Cycle

A reflection on the process of writing a short story cycle

The Short Story Cycle is a genre of fiction that is relentless in its pursuit of navigating a storyline with little room to do so. Given the short story’s limited word count, it is often paired with a sequence of other interrelated works that are strung together through common themes, characters, or viewpoints. Audiences are often unaware of the considerable requirements that it takes to produce a Short Story Cycle despite the extensive comprehension needed to truly plot out a successful one. Susan Minot has provided substantial progress in the conception and appreciation of this genre through her Short Story Cycle, Monkeys. Minot eloquently produced a cycle that elicited authentic feelings from her audience through episodic narratives. She then fed a level of satisfaction to the reader when the end of the cycle provided a resolution that solidified the outcome of each character’s storyline. In my personal Short Story Cycle entitled “Yin and Yang,” I utilize the plot development, scene description, and dialogue that I have acquired from analyzing her cycles. However, each author owes the reader a piece written in their own voice, so I challenged these ideas and built a cycle that focuses on the illustrative power of poetry while still telling a story.

from: Altieri, Alyssa (2020): “A Review of Concise Literature: The Short Story Cycle” in The Macksey Journal, vol. 1, 2020, article 138.

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Note: This short article appears to be part of a larger academic work, perhaps a Master’s Thesis, which includes the author’s (Altieri) own short story cycle.


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